A smartly dressed elderly white man appeared odd in the VIP tent at a function deep in the rural areas of Hwange district Matabeleland North Province of Zimbabwe.
For a visitor to the district, the guest certainly stood out as the only white person at the event held on 21 September 2022 at Nechishala Secondary School, Chachachunda village.
The venue of the rare event was barely five kilometres from the homestead of Chief Hwange, who apparently was the guest of honour at the function.
Throughout the four-hour long function which included traditional rituals and dances, the “special” guest sat quietly following proceedings which were predominantly in the indigenous Nambiya language.
The man popularly known as Father Tim is no stranger to the communities of Hwange; he has lived with them for 35 years. In addition to catering for the spiritual needs of the communities, Father Tim is a development practitioner whose contribution towards the positive changes in some parts of the district, may surpass that of the local authority and government combined.
Father Tim who was deployed by the Roman Catholic Church to St John’s Catholic Mission in Simangani ward of Hwange rural in January 1985 is the man behind the construction of 10 schools and 24 church buildings. Many visitors to this part of Hwange have marvelled over these numerous uniform like stone-walled church structures in the area.
The function that Father Tim was attending in September was the commissioning of a girl’s boarding house at Nechishala secondary. This is one of the schools that Father Tim has helped construct with financial aid from his friends in his home country, Iceland. World Vision Hwange Area Programme assisted with the construction of the girl’s dormitory at Nechishala.
The event was also a farewell occasion from the World Vision team which had been implementing projects in the area for the past 16 years.
Hwange district has many satellite schools that were built to curb the long distances that children had to walk through the wild life infested forests to the nearest school. Most such institutions adopted the concept of bush boarding schools where children stay in shacks or use classrooms as hostels.
While Father Tim made significant contributions to the development of new schools, he has been at the forefront of the construction of decent boarding facilities, particularly for girls who were vulnerable to abuse due to the deplorable living conditions at school.
Father Tim has also spearheaded the construction of small dams and establishment of community nutrition gardens in the area. At the peak of the Covid 19 pandemic, he provided personal protective equipment to several schools in the district. Due to the constant maintenance work that Father Tim undertakes on culverts and small bridges on the strip road leading to Simagangani ward on the border with Zambia, parts of the district which would have been unreachable during the rain season have remained accessible.
“That man is getting old now. He has done so much for this district and I feel someone should have started thinking of a way of recognising his work either in the form of a statue or anything along those lines,” said Lovemore Nyoni, the World Vision Hwange Area Programme Manager.
Father Tim Peakock was born in England on January 1, 1948. He became a priest in April 1978 and was deployed as a parish priest to St John’s mission in Hwange in 1985.
In a newsletter he published in July 2018 Father Tim details some of the development projects he has undertaken in Hwange. He also reflects on his 33 years of service in Hwange. The long serving priest is open about the fact that he, like most men, had intended to marry and bring up a family. But instead, his family has become the poor communities of Hwange district.
“Since the day I decided to become a priest, back in April 1978, when I was working in Iceland, I have never looked back. Thank God I have never doubted my vocation, though certainly the challenge before deciding to become a priest was the attraction to the marriage institution. But in spite of my attraction to marriage I have never felt frustrated as a priest. God has kept me very occupied over those years!”
“While a priest cannot experience the intimacy of having a wife, and watching children grow, nevertheless, God compensates in so many ways. In a sense all 2,200 of my parishioners are my children, or at least I can say they are my spiritual children.”
“Over the last 33 years I have watched so many of my parishioners grow up, get married, have children, and later become grandparents!”
Rutendo Mapfumo a journalist based in Hwange town who is among the few scribes to have documented the work of Father Tim says the man believes that he was ordained to change the lives of the communities in the rural areas of Hwange.
“As a result of his hard work and the zeal to improve the lives of these people, buildings have sprouted where makeshift classrooms and offices once stood,” wrote Mapfumo.
S Africa’s Ramaphosa faces impeachment threat over farm scandal – Zimbabwe Independent
An independent panel appointed by the speaker of South Africa’s parliament has found preliminary evidence that President Cyril Ramaphosa violated his oath of office, findings that could lead to his eventual impeachment.
Parliament will examine the report, which was submitted on Wednesday, and decide whether to push ahead with impeachment proceedings next week.
This comes just weeks before an elective conference that will decide if Ramaphosa gets to run for a second term on the governing African National Congress’s (ANC) ticket at 2024 polls.
The president immediately denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crimes.
“I categorically deny that I have violated this oath in any way, and I similarly deny that I am guilty of any of the allegations made against me,” Ramaphosa said in a statement issued by the South African presidency on Wednesday.
On Thursday, he delayed an appearance in parliament to answer questions, requesting time to consider the report, noting that the panel’s recommendations had “implications for the stability of the country,” parliament said in a statement.
In June, it emerged that an estimated $4m in cash was stolen from Ramaphosa’s game farm in 2020, raising questions about how the billionaire president, who took to power on the promise of fighting corruption, acquired the money and whether he declared it.
The three-person panel was set up in September and tasked with ascertaining whether there was sufficient evidence to show that Ramaphosa committed a serious violation of the constitution or the law or grave misconduct, National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said when she was handed the report earlier on Wednesday.
The panel said Ramaphosa should face further scrutiny on his ability to stay in office.
“In all the circumstances, we think that the evidence presented to the Panel, prima facie, establishes that the president may be guilty of a serious violation of certain sections of the constitution,” the report found.
These include not reporting the theft directly to police, acting in a way inconsistent with holding office and exposing himself to a clash between his official responsibilities and his private business.
While Ramaphosa has confirmed that a robbery occurred at his farm, he said the cash was from proceeds from the sales of game. He has denied breaking the law or any regulations relating to his office.
John Steenhuisen, the leader of South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), said Ramaphosa was in a tight bind, Reuters news agency reported.
“The report itself leaves the president in a virtually untenable position, particularly as it relates to his own party’s step-aside rules and the strong line that he has taken against others within his party,” he said.
Ramaphosa came to power in 2018 on a promise to root out graft after the corruption-stained era of his former boss, Jacob Zuma, and has generally insisted that any party official accused of corruption leave office pending investigations.
The alleged cover-up has tarnished the president’s reputation and overshadowed his bid for re-election at the helm of the ANC.
Ramaphosa, 70, is the favourite to win at the ruling party’s December 16-20 conference, where he faces a challenge from Zweli Mkhize, 66, an ex-health minister who resigned from the government last year amid corruption allegations.
In November, the spokesperson to the president, Vincent Magwenya, told journalists that Ramaphosa would “gladly step aside” if he were to be criminally charged.
The chances of impeachment are slim given the ANC’s dominance of parliament, where it holds 230 seats, or nearly 60 percent of the total, and typically votes along party lines. Impeaching a president requires a two-thirds majority.
The inquiry is separate from a criminal investigation that police are conducting, and which Ramaphosa has welcomed.
The report will be debated in the national assembly on December 6, said the speaker, Mapisa-Nqakula.
America, Europe easing their stance on Zimbabwe – Bulawayo24 News
The current economic stability prevailing in the country is indirectly forcing the West to mend its relations with Zimbabwe, economic analysts have said.
Economic analysts, Abednigo Matsika said that the recent developments that include the invitation to the US-Africa summit and proposals towards re-joining the Commonwealth were a manifestation of how President Mnangagwa’s Engagement and Re-engagement policy was bearing fruits.
“We are witnessing a change of stance by the West on Zimbabwe. Of late, the West has been warming up to the Government and has been pouring money to support various developmental projects in the country. Recently, the EU pledged over 100 million Euros to support women empowerment and agriculture programmes in the country. This shows that relations between the West and Zimbabwe are thawing,” said Matsika.
Matsika added that days of Zimbabwe’s isolation by the West were coming to an end. He said the sudden surge of traffic by the EU, US and the United Kingdom (UK) into Zimbabwe was positive and will lead to the removal of the illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the West.
In explaining how Zimbabwe-West relations were warming up, Matsika said that last week, the country and EU signed financial agreements totalling US46 million under the Zimbabwe-EU cooperative programme. Matsika added that the US46 million aid was an affirmation that the engagement and re-engagement drive with the international community was bearing fruits and that the EU was rapidly moving out of the sanctions orbit.
According to Matsika, the recent visit by the Commonwealth delegation led by Assistant Secretary General, Luis Franschesci shows that the bloc was willing to have Zimbabwe as member of that community. He added that the imminent readmission of Zimbabwe to Commonwealth would spur economic growth and open an avalanche of business opportunities for the country.
Meanwhile, a source within CCC said that the thawing of relations between Zimbabwe and the West had triggered uncertainty within that party which traditionally survives on Zimbabwe’s isolation from the rest of the World. The CCC feels that these developments would rob it of an advantage of boasting that they have the keys to the removal of sanctions and to good relations with the West.
The source said that CCC was plotting to stage violent demonstrations to tarnish the image of the Government.
“The CCC leadership has been shocked by the thawing of relations between Zimbabwe and the West. We are now planning to stage violent demonstrations in a bid to compel the state security to arrest participants. The idea is to portray Zimbabwe as a country that represses the opposition voice,” said the source.
The source further claimed that Chamisa recently held a caucus meeting with his few trusted lieutenants and expressed worry over the surveys that continue to signpost a ZANU PF victory in the forthcoming elections.
According to the source, Chamisa informed his friends in the region and beyond that a political strategist had advised him to stage violent protests in the country and blame ZANU PF for the same. The move according to the source is meant to force the West to tighten up screws on sanctions.
“Without sanctions, we are gone. We must create conditions that help our supporters, including those in the UK and US to disrupt the reengagement process. We would disrupt the current economic stability .We need economic pain to win,” said the source.
The source added that Chamisa was assembling a team of ruffians who would stage the demonstrations and subsequently get arrested.
On the other side, a ZANU PF supporter Regai Chandiwana of Seke argued that the improvement of relations between Zimbabwe and the West and the possibility of the removal of sanctions would level the electoral playing field which had, hitherto been skewed in favour of the opposition.
“They had the advantage of holding the electorate hostage by threatening to ensure that sanctions would continue to bite if citizens do not vote for the CCC. If sanctions are lifted, then for the first time in history elections would be fair,” said Chandiwana.
Meanwhile, efforts to get a comment from CCC interim national spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere were futile as her phone was not reachable.
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National Foods new mill to increase capacity by 2 000 tonnes per month – The Zimbabwe Mail
ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed food processing giant National Foods Holdings Limited’s new mill at their Bulawayo site is set to increase wheat milling capacity by 2 000 tonnes per month.
In an annual report for 2022, the company’s chairman Mr Todd Moyo said the new mill is set to start operating early next year.
“The installation of the new mill at our Bulawayo site has commenced and the mill remains on track for commissioning early in 2023.
The new mill will increase wheat milling capacity by around 2 000 tons per month,” he said.
The establishment of the new flour mill in Bulawayo comes at a time the Government is pushing its devolution agenda of industrialising production zones to boost local economies through employment creation.
The food processing giant is also embarking on an exciting period of expansion with the entry into a number of new categories, as it seeks to value and add its portfolio of basic products.
Mr Moyo said the introduction of a new milling plant will see the localised manufacturing of products, which had previously been imported, reducing foreign currency requirements and increasing demand for locally processed products.
This is in line with the Buy Zimbabwe campaign, which has seen more people buying more Zimbabwean-made products and is fully supported by the Government as it is critical in attaining an upper-middle-class status by 2030 anchored by the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
“The prospects for the current winter wheat crop look encouraging which is a most welcome development as it will reduce import dependency. National Foods continues to play a major role in supporting the local contracted wheat crop,” he said.
The Buy Zimbabwe campaign has helped drive a robust private sector-led initiative resulting in increased local products and the creation of jobs consistent with NDS1.
The chairman added that National Foods continues to keenly support contract farming of maize, soya beans, wheat, sugar beans, sorghum and popcorn.
“During the current winter season around 12 000 hectares of wheat has been planted, representing a significant portion of the contracted crop.
“In addition to this, 40 000 tons of maize and soya beans were delivered during this year’s summer cropping programme.
“The various products grown under this programme now constitute a significant portion of the Group’s raw material requirements,” he said.
Meanwhile, the food giant’s revenue for the year increased by 33 percent to record $128,4 billion, driven by both volume growth and inflation-driven price increases.
The group’s volume for the period increased by eight percent to 569 000 tonnes from 523 480 tonnes compared to the prior year.
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